Transit Waiting Area Design

Provide safe, pleasant waiting areas that are clearly identifiable.


Provide clear branding, wayfinding and schedule signage. People are more likely to use transit if they feel safe, comfortable and have a clear understanding of how to use the system effectively.

Design Guidelines
Policy & Implementation
The Role of Local Government & Transit First Policies
Guiding Principles of Land Use
Flexible Zoning Strategies
Street Design Implementation
Revising Transportation Analysis Practices
Transportation Demand Management
Rethinking Vehicle Parking Requirements
Parking Management
Best Practices to Attract Successful Developers
Clarifying Design Expectations
Integrating Retail into Transit Oriented Development
Community Planning for Rail Transit
Additional Resources
A photo of the inside of a parking garage with transit tickets and bike parking.
BART Berryessa Station, San José, CA
A photo of sign with direction arrows towards BART, Bus Transit Center, Parking Garage, Bike parking, and Major Roads.
Branding and Wayfinding - Berryessa BART Station, San José, CA
A photo of a bus only lane stop with shaded shelter, seating, lighting, and real time schedule.
VTA BRT, San José, CA (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)

A photo of a ticket machine on a sidewalk to buy VTA tickets.
VTA Light Rail Ticketing System

Provide clearly marked and easily navigated ticketing systems that accommodate a range of users. Consideration should be given to providing multiple ways to obtain tickets depending on a person’s point of access and physical or cognitive abilities.


















Provide universally-designed waiting area amenities to accommodate all users. Typical waiting area amenities include shelter, lighting, seating, trash receptacles, real-time signage, and accessible paths of travel.

  • Provide real-time signage to allows riders to use the system more efficiently

  • Ensure furniture and shelter design is consistent across the transit system branding to provide clear messaging to the rider.

  • Provide a mix of backed benches, backless benches and single seats to allow for choice based on social or physical preference. Seating choices with backs and arms should be considered for seniors or people with physical disabilities.
A photo of a bus shelter with people waiting, seating, trash can, and real time schedule.
Bus Stop Waiting Area, San José, CA (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)
A graphic of a large bus shelter with seating, trash can, and schedule.
Transit Waiting Area

Increase comfort at transit waiting areas through the addition of public art and nearby businesses such as coffee shops to make waiting more enjoyable.

A photo of a bus shelter near commercial buildings.
Artful Muni Shelter with Solar Roof (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)

A photo of a light rail stop near businesses.
Locate Bus Stops near Businesses (Source: Flickr - Sergio Ruiz)